After winning the competitive Newport Elks Tournament and starting the season 5-0, JSerra Catholic High of San Juan Capistrano, Calif. looked to be on its way to a stellar season. Three losses in the next five games could have been a real dagger for the Lions, but instead it was a reality check. JSerra bounced back from a league loss to Mater Dei High (Santa Ana, Calif.) with wins over Trinity League opponents Lutheran High (Orange, Calif.) and St. John Bosco High (Bellflower, Calif.) before entering the Anaheim Lions Tournament field of 58 teams.
"We got into them a little bit," head coach Brett Kay said. "It's about repetition and doing things right. We beat into their heads about doing things the right way."
At one point the Lions had just 12 hits in a four-game span. They were out of their comfort zone and Kay pushed them to be aggressive at the plate to get back to their style of play. JSerra ran the table in the Anaheim Lions Tournament, going 5-0 and beating Lake Forest, Calif.'s El Toro High for the championship.
"That was a real good run for us," Kay said. "We've been like Jekyll and Hyde. The El Toro game showed me a lot. We've been down in some games and El Toro is one of the best teams we've played so far. We showed some resilience."
JSerra moved up to No. 12 in the latest Top 25 and have 10 games left in the extremely competitive Trinity League. Catcher Austin Hedges is helping the offense chug along with a .415 average in 53 at-bats. He's also keeping up with his typical defense, shutting down the running game.
"No one runs on him," Kay said. "One kid on a team from Utah tried to steal third on him. I think he was a freshman. He didn't have a chance to slide Austin was so quick. He's a stud."
JSerra has a three-headed monster on the mound in righthanders Keaton Siomkin, Trevor Charpie and Bobby Hearn. Charpie, a junior that also plays shortstop, is 4-1, 0.82 with 27 strikeouts and five walks in 26 innings and Siomkin is 2-1, 2.91 with 20 strikeouts in 22 innings. Hearn is the closer and has three saves in 18 innings of work to go with a 2-0, 1.19 record. He has 22 strikeouts and five walks.
Follow me (@bahighschool) and Conor Glassey (@conorglassey) for draft and high school updates like these:
• Javier Baez, an infielder at Arlington Country Day School in Jacksonville, committed to Chipola (Fla.) JC.
• Righthander Benton Moss of Rocky Mount (N.C.) High threw a complete game one-hitter on April 6. He didn't walk any batters and struck out 20.
• In a start on April 7, righthander Taylor Guerrieri of Spring Valley High in Columbia, S.C., touched 98 mph a couple times and was sitting 94-95 by the end of the game. Several teams with a top 10 pick had at least a crosschecker in attendance.
• Capistrano Valley High (Mission Viejo, Calif.) head coach Bob Zamora earned his 600th career victory.
• Spanish Fork (Utah) High won the competitive Big League Dugout Invitational in Scottsdale, Ariz., edging Bishop Gorman High of Las Vegas 3-2. Subscribers can read more on Spanish Fork's program in the next High Heat, which will be online on April 19.
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